As the world celebrated the World Ozone Day in September 2021, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) showed its solidarity by strengthening its officers‘ capacity to control and monitor ozone depleting dubstances (ODS) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) trade in Zimbabwe.
From 23 to 30 September 2021, seventy-eight (78) ZIMRA Customs Officers received an online training in controlling and monitoring ODS and HFC trade. Of these officers, forty-four (44) were female. The training was conducted under Zimbabwe’s HCFC Phase-Out Management Plan (HPMP) which is jointly implemented by the Zimbabwe National Ozone Unit (NOU) under the Government of Zimbabwe, Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry and GIZ Proklima. Zimbabwe’s HPMP is funded by the Multilateral Fund (MLF) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The NOU’s Project Manager, George Chaumba, and Lillian Musarandega of ZIMRA facilitated the training.
Aware that Customs Officers are expected to verify that goods meet acceptable standards, ZIMRA continues to forge and utilise its strategic partnerships to equip Customs Officers for their broad and complex roles. Officers who were drawn from different ZIMRA ports were trained in the following areas:
- Effects of ODS and HFC on the environment
- The Montreal Protocol and its Kigali Amendment
- Identification of ODS and HFC using trade names, United Nations and Chemical Abstract Service numbers
- Equipment dependant on ODS and HFC such as refrigerators
- Zimbabwean legislation for the control of ODS and HFC trade
- Licensing procedures
- Handling of ODS and HFC
- Use of refrigerant identifiers
- Expected changes on ODS and HFC in the 2022 Harmonised system for the classification of goods.
The training enlightened CustomsOfficers on the detrimental effects of ODS and HFC. After the training, the officers felt confident to control and monitor ODS and HFC trade in Zimbabwe. Besides the need to increase the number of officers who can use the refrigerant identifiers, more training sessions are necessary to keep abreast with international developments and changes in national legislation. ZIMRA is grateful to GIZ Proklima and the NOU for the collaboration and looks forward to partnering with them in other areas of mutual interest.